General News

Health Unit to begin secondary school clinics for immunizations

February 10, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is partnering with local school boards to offer school-based immunization clinics at Simcoe Muskoka secondary schools from now through March.

The program will help students catch up on routine and required immunizations missed during the pandemic.

In early January, the Health Unit mailed letters to the families of students whose immunization records needed to be completed to notify them of what information was missing.

If a student has already received their routine and required immunizations through their health care provider or a health unit clinic, parents and caregivers are advised to update their child’s immunization record online.

During school-based clinics, health unit nurses will offer required vaccines. These include the Tdap booster for 14 to 16-year-olds, Men-C-ACYW – meningitis, offered in grade 7, and measles, mumps, and rubella, if missed. They will also provide the second dose of varicella (chicken pox vaccine) if missed, and hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines that are offered in grade 7, if missed.

COVID-19 and influenza vaccines will not be offered at these clinics.

The Health Unit advises getting immunized according to Ontario’s publicly funded immunization schedule. Having up-to-date immunizations helps to ensure that youth have the best protection against certain vaccine-preventable diseases and helps to reduce the risk of outbreaks in schools.

Parents and caregivers are reminded that vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, meningococcal disease are required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are also strongly recommended.

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